Flau’jae Johnson, the self-proclaimed “elite two-way star in hip-hop and hoops,” has signed a show deal with Puma family. The partnership comes before the freshman at Louisiana State University has even played in her first NCAA game.
According to Boardroom TV, Puma has strategically been “retooling its standing in hoops, narrowing a selective eye on landing expressive personalities with off-court style and creativity.” Its star-studded roster includes Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball, Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart, and Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith.
— PUMA Basketball (@PUMAHoops) September 8, 2022
Puma recognizes the 18-year-old, 5-foot-10 guard is a celebrity on her own, garnering over a million followers on social media who support her journey both on the court and off the court. As a rapper, Johnson inked a distribution deal with Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation, and maintains close ties with the likes of Master P, Birdman, and Boosie Badazz.
— Flaujae 📍 (@Flaujae) September 8, 2022
Last year, the NCAA allowed student-athletes to profit off their “Name, Image and Likeness,” better known as NIL. Johnson is on her way to becoming one of the highest-paid female athletes in collegiate sport history and she’s doing it her way.
“Being with a brand that had the same vision as me. I feel like me and Puma, we had a unique situation, Johnson told Boardroom TV. “Me [growing up] as a baller, you didn’t really see Puma in basketball. Now, they’re really rising up in the culture and you can really see it with LaMelo to Mikey [Williams], to Breanna and Skylar. To be apart of that new wave is just dope to me, and I knew that our vision would align.”
The Savannah, Georgia, teen was a four-star prospect and was rated as the No. 6 guard in the country by ESPN, Nola.com reported.